There were warning signs even before the regular season that John Beilein’s coaching tenure with the Cleveland Cavaliers would not work, according to a new report.
Shams Charania, Jason Lloyd and Joe Vardon of The Athletic suggest that players began to tune out Beilein during training camp.
After two blowout losses in preseason, league sources said that Beilein was second-guessing his decision to leave college for the NBA.
“He was a dictator — not a coach suited for today’s NBA,” one source told The Athletic.
One problem was Beilein’s “tone toward players” when he was “allegedly overly harping his voice in film sessions, nitpicking fundamentals and showing an inability to adapt to the NBA’s offensive and defensive structures.”
Beilein was also reportedly “stunned” by NBA culture, according to The Athletic.
He was surprised by things including players’ dislike of long film sessions and practices, as well as load management with Kevin Love sitting out one game of a back-to-back set.
The final straw was when Beilein called the players “thugs” during a film session and insisted that he meant to say “slugs.”
He apologized to players, but a number of them reportedly never bought that explanation, according to The Athletic.
After that incident, a handful of players tried to make light of the situation by playing songs that featured the word “thug” in it when Beilein was close, a source told Charania, Lloyd and Vardon.
Recently acquired center Andre Drummond said the Cavaliers situation is worse than the one he left with the Detroit Pistons.
Drummond reportedly indicated that he would leave in free agency if Beilein was still the Cavaliers coach.
Drummond has since denied that he said that in the tweet below:
This shows that all-in-all, the whole situation in Cleveland has been a mess and it will be interesting to see what the team does in the offseason after a very disappointing and turbulent 2019-2020 season.